The Forum in Los Angeles is known for hosting once in a lifetime shows such as the recent Chris Cornell tribute “I am The Highway,” and Ozzfest on New Years. When iHeart puts a show together they go all out and always pull in a massive lineup for their shows. For iHeartRadio ALTer Ego 2019, the Forum hosted seven major bands/artists plus an opening set from DJ Scotty Fox. The lineup began with duo Twenty One Pilots who played the Forum this past year as a headliner. Twenty One Pilots are celebrating ten years of their self titled debut this year. Drummer Josh Dun walked out carrying a torch while vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Tyler Joseph came out in a ski mask and later stood in front of a car set on fire. Their set ended with Joseph standing on a big riser within the soundboard.
The second act to take the stage was New Orleans rock group the Revivalists known for their very high energy shows. Frontman David Shaw took some time off the stage to go shake hands of fans. Their five-song set consisted of "Oh No," "Change,” “All My Friends, "You & I" and "Wish I Knew You." Chicago punk rockers Rise Against, also a very high energy group was third on the bill. Vocalist/Guitarist Tim Mcllrath dedicated “Re-Education” to “ All the public school teachers. Everyone in education. Everyone who gave a sh*t about you when you were younger.” A big surprise came when Mcllrath said “Speaking of teachers, Tom Morello.” Morello came out to join Rise Against on “How Long,” his collaboration with Mcllrath.
Following Rise Against was one of today’s top younger artists Bishop Briggs who just happens to be the same age as Weezer has been along (26). Briggs is an alumni of Hollywood’s Musician’s Institute. Halfway through her performance Briggs said "I'm the woman on this lineup! And I'm going to try not to cry ... there was the Women's March today and I just want to thank iHeart and 98.7 for representing female musicians so thank you." Briggs performed a set including “White Flag,” “Wild Horses,” “Baby,” and “River.”
The three closing bands started with Weezer who had played the Forum this past year. Weezer is the type of band that plays everything throughout their career. Their set included classics like “Island In the Sun,” and “Hash Pipe,” up to their latest hit a cover of Toto’s Africa. Frontman Rivers Cuomo said “Thanks kids this is super fun. Only in L.A. We have another fu**ing album March 1, it's called the Black album. I painted my guitar black.” Weezer played the first single “Can’t Knock the Hustle.” To end their set Cuomo announced it by saying “There’s only one place we can take this biotch all the way to Africa.” Cuomo ended the song with the main riff from Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid.” Weezer will kick off another tour with Pixies on March 8 in support of their upcoming album Invasion of Privacy which can also be called the Black Album. Five days after Alter Ego Weezer released another album the Teal Album, which is all cover songs ahead of the Black Album.
Second to last, hailing from Las Vegas, NV, was the Killers which is the state’s most successful group. Like Weezer, The Killers had a set full of hits starting with “The Man,” with graphics of cowboy neon sign which was very Las Vegas looking. The Killers set included “Mr. Brightside,” “Somebody Told Me,” “Human,” and “When We Were Young.” Almost a year ago the Killers were playing two nights at the Staples Center in downtown L.A. Since forming nearly 20 years ago, the Killers have gone on to be one of the biggest Alternative-Rock bands worldwide performing in over 50 countries and in 6 continents.
Muse closed out this incredible evening starting with “Pressure.” In a world where streaming is taking over physical album sales, Muse has managed to have 6 number one albums with the highest being 3x platinum and the lowest being silver. On “Uprising” Guitarist/Vocalist Matt Bellamy led the crowd singing in unison. Muse ended the night with “Starlight.” When it comes to mixing technology and music Muse is at the top. Muse members Matt Bellamy and Dom Howard could be seen a few days earlier watching the Chris Cornell tribute at the Forum. Muse returns to the Forum on March 11.
Dj Scotty Fox
Twenty One Pilots